An official at the People’s Bank of China has said that the country’s central bank issued digital currency (CBDC) will be similar to Facebook’s Libra.

Mu Changchun, the central bank’s deputy director of payments, has said the currency’s organizational structure will be similar to that of Libra, including the involvement of non-governmental institutions in the token’s development and issuance. 

The official added that the tokens will be guaranteed by the People’s Bank and can be used without an internet connection so that people can continue to make transactions even if communications networks fail. The tokens will be support across several major payments platorms, including Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s AliPlay.

Guaranteeing Sovereignty

Mu said much of the reasoning behind the development of the CBDC was to ensure foreign exchange sovereignty in the face of planned corporate crypto offerings such as Facebook’s Libra. Translated by Reuters from state-run Shanghai Securities News, Mu said:

Why is the central bank still doing such a digital currency today when electronic payment methods are so developed? It is to protect our monetary sovereignty and legal currency status. We need to plan ahead for a rainy day.